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Survive or Survive: How Russian Truck Manufacturers Survive a Special Operation in Ukraine

The conflict in Ukraine has hit truck manufacturers hard. The sanctions caused by the special operation also played their part. Of course factories adapt to this, but it is impossible to do everything at once. The AvtoVzglyad portal tells about the situation at Russian truck production companies and what “anti-crisis” models they now offer.

Let’s start with some statistics. According to the Avtostat agency, the Russian truck fleet consists of 2.62 million vehicles, of which 1.68 million are Russian-made, but the problem is that trucks 9 years and older make up as much as 72.5% or 1.9 million cars. That is, the park is old and needs updating. But how? After all, many foreign companies left and Russian factories found themselves in difficult circumstances.

Let’s start with the GAZ Group. The manufacturer has been under sanctions since 2018, which means that it has already gained some experience working in difficult conditions. It should be noted here that, in addition to assembly plants, the group includes an entire power unit production division, such as the Ulyanovsk Motor Plant, Nizhny Novgorod Motors, YaMZ, etc. In addition, there is a technical center and a test site. Therefore, the inhabitants of Nizhny Novgorod do not lose heart and continue to work.

Their main novelty is the Sobol NN series of vans, which should be released in the fourth quarter of this year. There will be two engines: a petrol Evotech (2.7 l, 106 hp) and a supercharged “diesel” about which little is known.

The Urals are also doing well. In Miass, there is an increasing demand for the classic Ural-4320 model, so for now the off-road legend remains in service. In addition, the production of Ural Next trucks will continue, but this was not possible without import substitution. YaMZ-536 diesel engines received a control unit from the Russian company Itelma, and the electronic accelerator pedal was replaced with a mechanical one. And of course the environmental class of trucks has been lowered to the Euro-2 standard.

But KamAZ has a different situation. The fact is that Daimler Truck acted as a partner for more than ten years, so most of the parts and assemblies of the new Russian trucks were German. In any case, let’s remember the frames of the cabins of the K4 and K5 families. Now they have problems.

At the moment, we can confidently say that the plant will produce KamAZ trucks of the K3 series. There are also plans for the production of medium-duty vehicles of the Compass family with cabins from the Chinese company JAC.

In addition, there are rumors that the manufacturer is negotiating the supply of Chinese units to the conveyor belt: Weichai diesel engines and Fast Gear gearboxes. These brands belong to the same holding company. But the Chinese still fear secondary sanctions.

And finally the Belarusian MAZ. The manufacturer assembles MAZ-281040 minibuses and MAZ-356022 vans from JAC Motors car kits. As for the truck tractor segment, it is represented by the 5440 model with an aggregated base of Chinese suppliers. The fact is that MAZ has a joint venture with Weichai near Minsk. And this makes it independent of external power supplies from power units. For example, the engines of the “heavy trucks” are now Weichai, the gearboxes are Fast Gear and the axles are HandDe.

Manufacturer photo
Photo: AvtoVzglyad

Let’s start with some statistics. According to the Avtostat agency, the Russian truck fleet consists of 2.62 million vehicles, of which 1.68 million are Russian-made, but the problem is that trucks 9 years and older make up as much as 72.5% or 1.9 million cars. That is, the park is old and needs updating. But how? After all, many foreign companies left and Russian factories found themselves in difficult circumstances.

Let’s start with the GAZ Group. The manufacturer has been under sanctions since 2018, which means that it has already gained some experience working in difficult conditions. It should be noted here that, in addition to assembly plants, the group includes an entire power unit production division, such as the Ulyanovsk Motor Plant, Nizhny Novgorod Motors, YaMZ, etc. In addition, there is a technical center and a test site. Therefore, the inhabitants of Nizhny Novgorod do not lose heart and continue to work.

Their main novelty is the Sobol NN series of vans, which should be released in the fourth quarter of this year. There will be two engines: a petrol Evotech (2.7 l, 106 hp) and a supercharged “diesel” about which little is known.

The Urals are also doing well. In Miass, there is an increasing demand for the classic Ural-4320 model, so for now the off-road legend remains in service. In addition, the production of Ural Next trucks will continue, but this was not possible without import substitution. YaMZ-536 diesel engines received a control unit from the Russian company Itelma, and the electronic accelerator pedal was replaced with a mechanical one. And of course the environmental class of trucks has been lowered to the Euro-2 standard.

But KamAZ has a different situation. The fact is that Daimler Truck acted as a partner for more than ten years, so most of the parts and assemblies of the new Russian trucks were German. In any case, let’s remember the frames of the cabins of the K4 and K5 families. Now they have problems.

At the moment, we can confidently say that the plant will produce KamAZ trucks of the K3 series. There are also plans for the production of medium-duty vehicles of the Compass family with cabins from the Chinese company JAC.

In addition, there are rumors that the manufacturer is negotiating the supply of Chinese units to the conveyor belt: Weichai diesel engines and Fast Gear gearboxes. These brands belong to the same holding company. But the Chinese still fear secondary sanctions.

And finally the Belarusian MAZ. The manufacturer assembles MAZ-281040 minibuses and MAZ-356022 vans from JAC Motors car kits. As for the truck tractor segment, it is represented by the 5440 model with an aggregated base of Chinese suppliers. The fact is that MAZ has a joint venture with Weichai near Minsk. And this makes it independent of external power supplies from power units. For example, the engines of the “heavy trucks” are now Weichai, the gearboxes are Fast Gear and the axles are HandDe.

Source: Avto Vzglyad

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